Trypanosoma cruzi epimastigotes take up exogenous [3H]putrescine and [3H]cadaverine by a rapid, high-affinity, transport system that exhibits saturable kinetics (putrescine Km 2.0 μM, Vmax 3.3 nmol/min per 108 cells; cadaverine Km 13.4 μM, Vmax 3.9 nmol/min per 108 cells). Putrescine transport is temperature dependent and requires the presence of a membrane potential and thiol groups for activity. Its activity is altered in response to extracellular putrescine levels and as the cells proceed through the growth cycle. This transporter shows high specificity for the diamines putrescine and cadaverine, but low specificity for the polyamines spermidine and spermine. The existence of rapid diamine/polyamine transport systems whose activity can be adjusted in response to the growth conditions is of particular importance, as they seem unable to synthesize their own putrescine.